Sermonette: James: From Skeptic to Believer

James, the Half Brother of Jesus

Given 18-Jul-20; 15 minutes

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What did James experience while growing up as Jesus' half-brother? The book of James indicates that his older Brother influenced him greatly. Over the years, James undoubtedly observed how Jesus handled stress, disappointments, arguments, and other people problems. When Jesus began His ministry, His half-brothers were not with Him, even mocking Him with sarcastic comments, leading Jesus to observe that a prophet has no honor in his home country or in his own family (Mark 6:4). Obviously, God called none of Jesus' brothers during His ministry, but James may have received his calling when he witnessed His brother entrusting the care of His mother to John, a non-family member, at the time of His crucifixion. Jesus evidently had made a special appearance to James after His resurrection, a time when James changed from a skeptic brother to a faithful disciple, serving as the head of the Jerusalem Church at the time of the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15) in about 50 AD. The Book of James is a balanced approach to Christian living, including instructions on humility, patience, and handling trials. Josephus writes that, in 62 AD, the Scribes threw James off the pinnacle of the temple, later stoning him. James progressed from skeptic to a hero of faith.